Page:Ravished Armenia.djvu/23

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15
FOREWORD

during the past years, and help to establish there for the future, a sane and stable government.

Speaking of the character of the Armenians, Ambassador Morgenthau says in a recent article published in the New York Evening Sun: “From the times of Herodotus this portion of Asia has borne the name of Armenia. The Armenians of the present day are the direct descendants of the people who inhabited the country 3,000 years ago. Their origin is so ancient that it is lost in fable and mystery. There are still undeciphered cuneiform inscriptions on the rocky hills of Van, the largest Armenian city, that have led certain scholars—though not many, I must admit—to identify the Armenian race with the Hittites of the Bible. What is definitely known about the Armenians, however, is that for ages they have constituted the most civilized and most industrious race in the Eastern section of the Ottoman Empire. From their mountains they have spread over the Sultan’s dominions, and form a considerable element in the population of all the large cities. Everywhere they are known for their industry, their intelligence and their decent and orderly lives. They are so superior to the Turks intellectually and morally that much of the business and industry has passed into their hands. With the Greeks, the Armenians constituted the economic strength of the Empire. These people became Christians in the fourth century and established the Armenian Church as their